Gravenhurst High School students grinding through online school work – - Freelance Rack

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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Gravenhurst High School students grinding through online school work –

GRAVENHURST – It’s been over two months since students were let out of school as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has meant online learning has become the new norm.

Although secondary school students’ grades are not permitted to drop lower than they were on March 13, students say they’re still facing stress while completing school work at home.

Nick Gilpin is a Grade 9 Gravenhurst High School student who is taking English, automotive, geography and French this semester.

He said it can be hard to stay focused at home.

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“It’s been a little difficult. It’s kind of hard to keep the focus. It’s a little difficult when you have a fully-stocked fridge full of food,” he laughed.

English has been the hardest subject for him and French has been challenging since they are mostly doing worksheets and do not have the chance to practice speaking, he said.

For automotive, he said he’s lucky his dad is a mechanic so he can do practical work at home rather than just worksheets.

However, his main challenge is how easy it is to procrastinate at home.

“It’s definitely just the nature of not being able to be in a classroom. If you’re in a classroom, you’re forced to be more focused and you actually have to do the work, you can’t just put it off until 12 at night,” said Gilpin.

He also misses his friends and was disappointed he wasn’t able to celebrate his birthday with them on April 12, he said.

Cassidy McIsaac, a Grade 10 Gravenhurst High School student, is taking English, music, cooking and careers this semester.

She said for her cooking class, she has been mostly taking pictures of the food she is preparing at home, and for music, she is creating songs on a website.

In English, they are studying the book Acceleration by Graham McNamee and are preparing for an open book test about it.

She said in class, her teacher would read sections of the book aloud and would be readily available to answer questions, whereas now, she has to get used to asking questions electronically and waiting for her teacher’s response.

To stay positive, McIsaac said she’s been spending time outdoors while practicing physical distancing and has been playing the tuba to keep her music skills sharp.

And she said it’s important to keep in touch with others.

“Try to still talk to your friends. I’ve been FaceTiming and stuff. And try to do classes with them if they have the same class, do a worksheet with them or something,” she said.

Students in the Trillium Lakelands District School Board can access mental health resources on the board’s website by going to the Learn@Home tab. They can also call the Kids Help Phone to speak with a professional counsellor 24/7 by calling 1-800-668-6868.


Our education reporter wanted to know more about how the Learn@Home online school programs put in place during the pandemic are working for students, so she reached out to local teens to hear their thoughts.

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